Monday, 24 Jun 2024

Season Review: 1956-57

Boston Celtics 1956-57 Season

The 1956-57 season marked the beginning of an incredible dynasty in sports history: the Boston Celtics’ reign of 11 championships in 13 years. Led by a talented group of players, including Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, and Ed Macauley, the Celtics were known for their scoring abilities but lacked in rebounding and defense. However, everything changed when Red Auerbach made strategic trades and drafted promising players.

Auerbach traded Macauley and Cliff Hagan to St. Louis to acquire draft rights to center Bill Russell, a player with immense potential. Additionally, Boston used its own pick to select Tom Heinsohn, a high-scoring 6-foot-7 forward from Holy Cross. With Russell and Heinsohn joining forces with Cousy, Sharman, and other talented players, the Celtics formed a formidable team that would dominate the league for years to come.

With Cousy and Sharman leading the team in scoring, and Russell anchoring their defense, the Celtics finished the regular season with a league-best record of 44-28, winning the Eastern Division by a comfortable margin. However, their journey to the championship was not easy. In a thrilling seven-game NBA Finals series against the St. Louis Hawks, Heinsohn’s 37 points and 23 rebounds, along with Russell’s 19 points and 32 rebounds, secured a 125-123 double-overtime victory in Game 7.

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Game 7 of the 1957 NBA Finals was a game that would be remembered for years, as it showcased the incredible performances of rookie players Russell and Heinsohn, establishing the beginning of the legendary Celtic dynasty.

“The first one (championship) is always the hardest, and it’s also the most satisfying,” reflected Auerbach. “Everywhere I went that following summer, I could tell myself, ‘I’m the coach of the world champions.'”

PLAYOFFS

Western Division tiebreaker

  • St. Louis defeated Fort Wayne
  • St. Louis defeated Minneapolis

Eastern Division semifinals

  • Syracuse defeated Philadelphia (2-0)

Western Division semifinals

  • Minneapolis defeated Fort Wayne (2-0)

Eastern Division finals

  • Boston defeated Syracuse (3-0)

Western Division finals

  • St. Louis defeated Minneapolis (3-0)

NBA Finals

  • Boston defeated St. Louis (4-3)

SEASON LEADERS

  • Points — Paul Arizin, Philadelphia Warriors (25.6)
  • Assists — Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics (7.5)
  • Rebounds — Maurice Stokes, Rochester Royals (16.3)
  • FG% — Neil Johnston, Philadelphia Warriors (44.7)
  • FT% — Bill Sharman, Boston Celtics (90.5)

AWARD WINNERS

  • Most Valuable Player — Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics
  • Rookie of the Year — Tom Heinsohn, Boston Celtics
  • All-Star Game MVP — Bob Cousy, Boston Celtics

FAQs

Q: Who were the key players for the Boston Celtics during the 1956-57 season?

A: The key players for the Boston Celtics in the 1956-57 season were Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Ed Macauley, Bill Russell, and Tom Heinsohn.

Q: How many championships did the Boston Celtics win during the 1956-57 season?

A: The Boston Celtics won their first championship during the 1956-57 season, marking the beginning of their dominant run in the NBA.

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Q: What was the most memorable game of the 1957 NBA Finals?

A: Game 7 of the 1957 NBA Finals was the most memorable game, where Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell stepped up with exceptional performances to secure a double-overtime victory and the Celtics’ first championship.

Summary

The 1956-57 season marked the start of the Boston Celtics’ incredible dynasty, with 11 championships in 13 years. Led by talented players like Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, and Ed Macauley, the Celtics had built a strong scoring team but lacked in rebounding and defense. However, strategic trades and the addition of Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn transformed the Celtics into a dominant force in the league.

With Russell’s exceptional defense and Heinsohn’s scoring prowess, along with the continued excellence of Cousy and Sharman, the Celtics finished the regular season with the best record in the league. They faced a tough challenge in the NBA Finals against the St. Louis Hawks but emerged victorious in a thrilling Game 7, thanks to Heinsohn and Russell’s outstanding performances.

The 1956-57 season was the start of something special for the Boston Celtics, as they would go on to establish themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in sports history.

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